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turkey pho {subtitle: what the heck am I going to do with all this turkey?!}

November 29, 2011

turkey pho

This year was our first Thanksgiving in the new condo.

Recap of last year’s: We were looking for a more permanent place to live (i.e. starting the process of looking at what would inevitably be 86 places before deciding on a place to buy), were entertaining my sister, her husband and her two dogs in our tiny 1-bedroom apartment, all the while attempting to cook a turkey in an oven that operated at an almost 30 degree slant. Because we were splitting our day between families, we asked a friend who would be joining us for dinner 2.0 to put our bird in the oven and set the thermometer. He kindly did so and we were home in plenty of time to take the bird out. In fact, it started to feel like too much time. I checked the thermometer. Nope, still plenty to go. Until on the third check, I looked closer. Then closer. Then panicked. The thermometer was set in celsius and this bad boy needed to get out STAT. It wasn’t the juiciest of birds that year, but we had a great laugh over it–thankfully the gravy was delicious.

This year was a whole new ballgame. Great kitchen to cook in, plenty of room for the fam (and the dogs), a turkey thermometer set to Fahrenheit and a full day to do all the cooking needed for a gut-busting Thanksgiving dinner. The problem with gut-busting Thanksgivings though? With all the food that I made, only 1/4 of our turkey was consumed. That’s right people, with 8 people around a table, we only ate 25% of at 16lb turkey! That means A LOT of leftovers for me and Mr. KC. I’m pretty sure I’m 1/3 turkey at this point, but this bird needs to be eaten so I’m cracking out all sorts of turkey recipes and so far this has been one of my favorites.

The spices fool you into thinking it’s no longer Thanksgiving leftovers. The glass noodles are a personal favorite and it’s an easy and quick meal to pull together on a weeknight. Did I mention that it makes 2 really big bowls of soup–3 normal sized ones, which seemed the perfect size to avoid yet more leftovers.

The verdict? Lovely! So lovely that I would gladly make it all over again should I have leftovers from a rotisserie chicken. Two thumbs up!

turkey pho
recipe from food52 

ingredients for broth:

  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 quart homemade turkey stock (or homemade or store-bought chicken stock)
  • 1 bunch green onions (green parts only), chopped
  • 1 3-inch chunk of ginger, sliced and smashed with side of knife
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce, or more to taste
the rest:
  • 1 cup kale, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 pound leftover turkey breast, shredded
  • 1 bunch (approx. 2 oz.) rice noodles (or enough flat dried rice noodles to serve 2)–cooked according to package directions.
  • 1-2 tablespoon cilantro, chopped– for garnish (optional)
  • 1/2 lime, cut into wedges
  • Sriracha chili sauce to taste


make the broth:

  1. Heat a cast-iron skillet or frying pan over medium heat. (KC note: I used my Staub cocotte for this and did both the toasting and the broth making in the same pot)
  2. Add the coriander seeds, cloves, star anise, and cinnamon stick and toast until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Immediately spoon out the spices into a bowl to avoid burning them and set aside.  (If using a dutch oven, be prepared to add liquid immediately to avoid the spices from becoming overly toasted)
  4. In a pot, add toasted spices to turkey broth, chopped green onions, fish sauce, ginger and brown sugar.
  5. Simmer for 20 minutes. Taste broth and add additional sugar or fish sauce if needed.
  6. Strain and discard solids.

finish the pho: 

  1. Add kale, turkey and cooked rice noodles. Allow to heat up for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Ladle the broth into bowls. Divide the kale, shredded turkey and the noodles evenly into each bowl.
  3. Sprinkle on cilantro and add sriracha to taste (highly recommended for a little extra kick).
  4. Squeeze lime juice over the top of your bowl before eating.
2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 19, 2011 8:57 am

    I love pho, and this is such a good idea for leftovers! yummy!

  2. February 6, 2012 10:19 am

    Just wanted to drop by a little surprise in the form of the Versatile Blogger Award. Visit my blog for the details…


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